When we watch the video clip on the right it is amazing to see how skillful the footballer is. The tricks that he uses and his talent are incredible. How many hours must he have practiced to become as skillful as this?
In the Bible in the book of Samuel we meet a boy called David. His job is to look after his father's sheep while they are out grazing and to protect them from harm. In Israel, where David lived, this meant protecting the flock from wild animals, including bears and lions. To be able to do his job to the best of his ability David learned how to use a weapon called a sling, which is basically a strip of leather that can be used to throw a small stone from at high speed. It doesn't sound like much of a weapon but David used his sling to kill both lions and bears. To become this good a shot would take a lot of practice and skill.
David's abilities were really put to the test whenever he came face to face with a giant called Goliath. You can read the whole story in the Bible but this fight should have been easy for Goliath. He was much bigger than David, weighed more and was an experienced warrior. Yet the Bible tells us that with one shot from his sling David took Goliath down and cut off his head with the giant's own sword. What a moment of pressure that must have been for David, faced with a huge advesary and only having one opportunity to use the skill he had honed over many years looking after his father's sheep. Yet the practice paid off, his shot flew true and the giant was defeated.
It takes many, many hours of practice, maybe even years, to become really good at something and to master a skill. Look at the footballer in the video - he did not become that good after a few days of practice! Whatever you are learning to do, whether it be football, another sport or your studies, keep going and remember the lesson of David. Whenever he most needed to use his skill it was there for him but you must practice, practice, practice!!